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The last thing most potential customers want during dinnertime is a marketing call. And while B2B cold calling can work, it’s a long process that can also cause some resentment. Because both consumers and business owners are far more empowered than they were even a decade ago, most don’t want to tolerate being interrupted by a marketing message.
Instead of wanting a salesman to call them, most people who are interested in making a purchase want to go out and research what options are available before actually pulling out their wallet. According to research compiled by sales organizations, prospects’ buying decisions are sixty percent made before they actually talk to anyone who’s in a sales role.
Although savvy sales professionals still play a very valuable role, that role is much different than it was prior to the rise of the Internet. For example, as previously mentioned, cold calling is nowhere close to as effective as it was a decade or two ago. Another reality is that hiding information from prospects is no longer a way to build leverage. Instead, that approach is generally going to result in prospects going to a competitor that’s not afraid to share basic details like pricing.
Because consumers expect to have access to information as they’re making their purchasing decision, smart companies know that they shouldn’t hesitate to make that information easy to access. Sharp companies also realize that because consumers now have platforms like blogs and social media, they need to provide customers with the best experience possible. Not only does that mean some customers will share their positive experiences through those channels, but it also means a company won’t have to worry about negative comments being broadcast across the Internet.
One thing that has remained the same is consumers still appreciate personalized service. But just because that type of service is effective doesn’t mean it’s realistic to meet every prospect in person. Instead, it means that sales professionals need to harness tools like social media and email in ways that show their personality. For example, instead of only tweeting links to content, tweet updates that talk about what you’re doing. By showing that you’re an actual person instead of just a machine that’s programmed to sell, you can make it easier for prospects to connect with you.
Now that you have a better understanding of how modern buyers think, you may be wondering how you can create a comprehensive strategy for yourself or your entire organization. The best place to start is with content. If you’re publishing valuable content on a regular basis, you’re going to be successful at bringing prospects into your inbound sales process. Once you have their attention, your process needs to revolve around building a relationship before you move into the closing process. Even though you may not be able to meet prospects in person, optimizing your approach to online sales means you will still be able to build trust.
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